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Health ombudsman issues unprecedented warning over safety and culture

A health watchdog has issued an unprecedented warning over patient safety, culture and leadership at a scandal-hit NHS trust,The Independent has learned.

The Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman, the government body that investigates patients’ complaints, has used powers for the very first time to raise “serious concerns” about University Hospitals Birmingham Foundation Trust.

The body does not have its own powers to intervene but the warning has triggered an investigation by NHS England.

Ombudsman Rob Behrens said there needed to be “significant improvements” in culture and leadership at the trust. He also raised concerns that the trust had failed to “fully accept or acknowledge” the impact of findings from investigations on patient safety.

The decision to trigger the alert, known as the emerging concerns protocol, was “not taken lightly”, Mr Behrens said.

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Source: The Independent, 12 February 2023


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